Muhsin Muhammad back in town, impressed by Mel Tucker

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Muhsin Muhammad does not return to the Greater Lansing area as often as he would like. Once a year is normally all he can handle. For the great Waverly who went on to play at Michigan State and play 14 years in the NFL, that’s not enough.

Time is a finite resource for Muhammad.

He has two sons who are college athletes, namely Muhsin Muhammad III, a Texas A&M catcher who goes by the name “Moose Jr.”

The elder Muhammad is managing director of Axum Capital Partners, a private equity firm in Charlotte, North Carolina. And he works for the NFL at home games for the Carolina Panthers.

But when former Panther and Okemos High alum Taylor Moton asked Muhammad to help out at this year’s 517 football camp, the former MSU wide receiver answered the call.

“It’s a blessing to be able to give back,” Muhammad said after the end of camp on Saturday at the Hope Sports Complex. “I was able to absorb a lot of information, learn a lot and pass that knowledge on to the next generation. And you see the next generation of leaders – guys like Taylor. I don’t play anymore, obviously he So it’s important that the guys who have that platform and that influence use it while they still have it.”

So connected to his financial career and his sons’ college endeavors, Muhammad admitted he didn’t follow Waverly High football closely. The same is true for the state of Michigan. These days, with Moose Jr. playing for the Aggies, Muhammad is more focused on the SEC.

Still, his time at Michigan State is never far from his mind. He caught 69 passes for 1,140 yards and five touchdowns during his four-year career from 1992 to 1995.

“I have a lot of great memories of playing at Spartan Stadium,” he said.

Muhsin Muhammad was among a slew of Division I football prospects to emerge from the Lansing area in the 1980s and 90s. The Waverly grad played at Michigan State from 1992-1995 before embarking on a 14-year career in the NFL.

Mel Tucker is now beginning to create new memories for the MSU fan base. The Spartans are coming off an 11-2 season, punctuated by a Peach Bowl win over Pittsburgh. They’re white-hot on the recruiting track, landing the commitments of five four-star 2023 prospects this month alone.

It is impossible, Muhammad said, to be unaware of Tucker’s influence on the elevation of the program.

“I think he did a phenomenal job in a very short time,” Muhammad said. “I think the challenge, obviously, is to sustain it over a long period of time and really start to put Michigan State on a national platform. I think we’re headed in that direction. I think the program is moving in the right direction.”

A handful of players hoping to ensure the Spartans live up to exorbitant expectations took part in Saturday’s camp. Cooper Rush, another former Carolina Panther who now plays for the Washington Commanders, also lent a hand. Coaches from area high schools also participated.

Participation from all levels impressed Muhammad.

“I think it’s just great to see the levels of leadership here, from the NFL to college to high school. They’re all paying it back,” he said. “I think it’s a fantastic game and an opportunity for the guys to show off their athletic skills – and their wisdom too, because I don’t think there are stupid football players who are successful.”

RELATED: Carolina Panthers OL Taylor Moton gives back to the community with 517 Football Camp

Muhammad knew he was playing on the biggest stages: he appeared in a pair of Super Bowls (XXXVIII with the Panthers, XLI with the Chicago Bears) and picked up two Pro Bowl selections. While he last played over a dozen years ago, he remains active in NFL circles. He occasionally stops by the Carolina locker room and facilities to address the team.

But he now has a more formal role: he’s the NFL’s uniform inspector for every game played at Bank of America Stadium.

It is a more complete work than one would think.

“The NFL has a standard for how they want players to present themselves on the field. And we uphold that standard,” Muhammad said. “It could be anything from the position of the pads on their legs to the tint of their windshield. You’ve got guys who wore watches and jewelry, so we’re looking for things that could potentially harm another player. Someone’s finger could get caught in a piece of jewelry.”

Muhammad doesn’t even know exactly how he got the job; he did not ask for it. All he remembers is someone calling and asking if he would be interested in keeping the uniforms under control.

“At that time, I was just sitting on my couch on Sundays,” he said with a laugh. “So they keep at least one old man off the couch on some Sundays.”

Contact Ryan Black at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @RyanABlack.

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